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(Taken last night when I walked into the house.)

I made it! It feels so good to be home too. Yes, things are finally calming down with school, but I still felt scattered and out of sorts. Landing on American soil not only rejuvenated my spirit, but calmed some of the anxiety I was feeling.

A couple of good things came out of my move to Ireland. 1) I’m down 20 lbs with 40 more to go. As long as I continue to work out while I’m home I should be able to shave off another 15 while I’m here. 2) I have a deeper appreciation for what I had back home. Things look less bleak and I’m ready to work my butt off as well.

I hope to post more now that I have a bit more time to work on my own projects. In the meantime, I’m going to rest.

The Semester is Nearly Over 😱

(Source: Student Problems Facebook.)

One. More. Class.

Then I fly out on Tuesday morning back to the United States, and not a moment too soon. To say this semester kicked my ass is an understatement. Yes, it did improve, and so did I. However, the steps it took to get here were super treacherous. This trip back home will be a bit of a reprieve.

There are some updates I wanted to include in this post that I talked about in recent days:

• I’m no longer in the professor’s course that disrespected me in front of the entire class. I had to take the case up with the head of my major’s department and the academic dean to move me out of his class. I was moved to a different professor’s course where I’m ACTUALLY LEARNING my craft and it’s not being treated like a contestant for the teacher’s favorite student. The original professor still infuriates me. Not only in how he treated me, but the rumblings I’m hearing from how he is treating the other students. It also doesn’t help that he’s industry (working actor) too. If I ever have to work with him in a professional setting and he is disrespectful to me again, I hope I will be in a position of power by that point in time to call him out on his bullying instead of taking myself out of the situation like I did in class; which made me feel powerless. I suspect that is what he wanted all along. To make me feel powerless. He is a bully after all.

• The classmate finally came around and contributed the bare minimum to the group project and no need to “correct” my paper. Between my friend who also worked on the project calling them out their lack of effort and my email, it seems that kicked them in the pants enough to do some work. I hope to never have to work on another project with them ever again.

• The short film I worked on is coming together fast! We only shot it this past Wednesday and there is already a rough cut that was sent to the directors and the producer/writer of the production. Soon I hope to use some of the footage for my own show reel. Finally a friggin reel. It’s all coming together.

Aside from the updates, I managed to book another fit modeling gig back home and apply for some mini gigs. I’m also teaching at the dance studio this month starting next Thursday. My reprieve will be a bit busy, a bit profitable, and most of all it will be at home. I can’t wait!

Group Project 🙄

(Source: Student Problems Facebook.)

It’s the last week of the semester, and, like always, there is fuckery afoot. There are a couple of projects that involve groups that I’m a part of, that are due this week. One of the projects in particular is close to bringing out “HR/Corporate Shamma.”

Why? Well, one individual in particular who has:

•Not consistently attended class.

•Not answer questions when asked on the group chat.

•Only wants to participate in the project according to their own terms and not the requirements of our professor. (Meaning they want to delegate all of the tasks to everyone else and do nothing themselves.)

Now has the absolute gall to send me an email requesting to forward all of my work to them, in order to make “corrections.”

Um, no.

They already showed their ass from the start when when they tried to accuse another student in the class of being flaky; when in fact the accuser is flaky as hell! Second of all…corrections? For what? They weren’t in class when all of the notes were taken and the professor knows I’m writing the paper. He has a keen idea on who’s been putting in work and who has not, so any “corrections” this person has to make is a desperate attempt to look like they did something.

Another point I want to add, is the background of this individual. Like me, they came from a previous profession (not corporate) before diving into Drama School. Which means they are also carrying a massive ego by thinking they are better than the other students here. But here’s the rub: the class we have this project for, is more suited to my previous industry than theirs. It’s the reason why I’m writing the report in the first place. Also, while my previous profession has been pivotal in how I navigate this industry, I’m not shitting on the other students for not having those skills. Instead I’m offering them up to be used to get us the best grade possible.

These skills are going to be dusted off, again, for the most scathing corporate email I can possibly write to this classmate. Including a corporate jargon way of conveying they are not getting my notes and go to hell.

Memorization

(Source: Facebook.)

I just had a long talk with my friend and classmate about memorization. Namely, we’re memorizing too many different texts. Since we have 10 classes, each class offers something different:

•A scene from an Irish play for Monday’s class.

•A piece of text from “The Tell Tale Heart” for the Tuesday morning class.

•A Shakespeare monologue for the Tuesday afternoon class.

•A scene from an Irish television show for Wednesday’s class.

•2 songs off book for vocal rep.

And that’s only this week.

Memorization is incredibly helpful, and over time, with enough training, I can memorize quickly. However, with stress, a varied schedule, and too many texts to learn, I’m far too scattered. With the way my brain works, I need to dedicate more time to learn a show or a piece of text than maybe the average person.

I pray to survive the semester with all of my texts in place. But I wish I could dedicate myself to one piece of text at a time.

A Scam that Built a Community

(Source: Image Orca Pinterest.)

Is it possible for a scam to bring people together? In my case and many others, yes it did.

A “recruiter” messaged me a few weeks ago to tell of a a beauty campaign featuring diverse faces and body types for a campaign. I was wary of it at first, but I was also wary of a strange email sent to me about a film (MUDA) that turned out to be very real. So I asked for more information and they sent me an email regarding what the campaign is and what the contract looks like.

Before I agree to anything, I typically do research to find out more about the companies involved as well as the campaign. Shockingly these scammers did an incredible job at crossing their “T’s” and dotting their “I’s”. They provided real companies, real discount codes for their products, a genuine conference call with everyone that would be working on the shoot, as well as a real location as to where we would be staying. Unfortunately, but fortunately, the veil lifted for everyone soon after and it was revealed to be a scam.

The silver lining in all of it was that everyone scammed was on a group email and we all corresponded with each other after the big reveal to figure out how we can fight the scam and stay in touch. Now we are a community that follows each other on Instagram with the hopes that we will collaborate on projects in the future. It’s definitely possible: many of us are models, actors, recording artists, bloggers, and brand ambassadors. Movers and shakers in this industry that are making big things happen.

I’ve been fortunate enough to not be pulled into an elaborate scam that affects my safety or my finances. Those people are out there and it’s concerning that they would go to such lengths. Take this as a warning: do all of your research, ask questions, ask others that are involved, and if something doesn’t feel right in your gut, walk away.

Workshops

(Source: Facebook)

I use this meme because it’s a process of appointments to get approval to work here. Especially with so many educational offerings from other theatre schools that my school does not offer in the slightest. Like:

•Casting and Auditions

•Stage Combat (primarily Rapier and Dagger work)

•Showreel Preparation

The Casting and Audition course is particularly interesting to me because that last audition I had back in December, I bombed completely. While my professors talk about auditions, they are not really touching on how difficult the process actually is. In fact many working actors in the thick of the industry say that auditioning is a skill of its own. Once you get a booking, doing the job is super easy.

The next beast to tame is the showreel. As I mentioned on a previous post, the hardest part of booking work has been a lack of a reel to present to potential casting agencies. Mainly due to not being cast in low budget or student films who are not paying me, but will compensate me with reel footage, but in order to be considered for a part, I must have a reel first…..

(Source: Twitter. Same, cute little dog, same.)

The workshop that is offering this is also teaching advanced techniques in working in film along with production of reel footage for me to use.

Of course, to cap it all off, there is another Stage Combat workshop that I want to take. Clearly I can’t get enough of this art, especially since I would be training in a brand new weapons category.

Two of the three courses are being paid for from my previous modeling jobs. The third I will need to find a job to pay for that course. Wish me luck!

My Apartment is Kicking My Butt in Shape

(Source: somewhere on Twitter.)

I haven’t really talked too much about the apartment I was able to rent. Honestly my schedule doesn’t really permit for much of anything so it’s been difficult to stay consistent with this blog, but that complaint is for another time. However the time has come to not only talk about the apartment, but also why it’s forcing me to get in shape.

The apartment is really old and the bathroom is scary gross. The tenants are good people, so the lack of cleanliness is not a reflection on them. It has more to do with the fact that the last time the space was truly renovated was in the early 1900’s. I would fetch a guess that the bathroom has not had an update since the early 1990’s. There are all sorts of vermin crawling all over the place. I bought special storage bins for my clothing and toiletries so they wouldn’t have bugs in them. Plus I regularly check my suitcases and my bed to make sure no critters have crawled in them. It’s bad.

When it comes to using the bathroom, I hover squat over the toilet…IF I use it. I just use the toilet while I’m at school or at Starbucks mostly. The sink is disgusting, so I use the kitchen sink in my apartment to wash my hands and brush my teeth.

The worst part is the shower. This is a shared bathroom for 3 apartments within the building with 5 adults living there and for the shower to work it charges €2 for 5 minutes.

Yeah…..no.

1) I need to take more than 5 minutes in the shower just for my hair alone. So in order for me to be truly cleansed, I would say I’m spending upwards of €6 per shower.

2) I bathe everyday, because I sweat profusely and I walk around in city pollution. €6 daily adds up big time. I’m looking at €168 monthly just to take a shower.

3) Since living in film and funk gives me anxiety, my family and I established that it would be cheaper to pay for a gym membership and use the shower there. Right now I’m on a student contract (3 month intervals) with a really posh gym in the city for only €45 per month.

So I’m taking advantage of my new membership by using the facilities for more than just hygiene purposes. I’m seriously out of shape and even though I lost a little weight since I got here, it wasn’t significant enough for me to buy new clothes or look better in photos. This is a good thing. I worked out after school today for 30 minutes and was already super winded. I’m now motivated to workout every day until that no longer is an issue. Hopefully I drop a few more pounds and gain some energy back.

Oh and I took a super long shower too.

(Source: Facebook.)

Repeat Technique

(Source: Giphy.com)

Ok dammit, I guess I can’t stay away. I NEED to journal this.

So, today was my first class and well…it was somewhat frustrating, but I guess the first day of school is always frustrating. There’s still a lot of issues, confusion, and concern in regards to my major, but that’s beside point of this blog post.

Today we did a review of the Meisner repeat technique. Something I’m familiar with since I began training in Meisner back in 2015. The point of this technique is to break down any tension and barriers between the actors to find truthful moments. In essence it helps the actors deliver the text they’re given more realistically without over acting, or forcing oneself to dredge up past traumas for realistic emotions. We start by making simple observations first: noticing eye color or what shirt a person is wearing and we make a statement.

“You’re eyes are blue.”

Then the actor sitting opposite responds by repeating the statement

“My eyes are blue.”

From there we dig deeper and try to identify discomfort, or further details about the physical things that we see. What we can’t do is make a judgment. I can’t say “you’re wearing an ugly shirt” as opposed to saying “your shirt has lots of colors in it.”

Once we reach the the advanced stage, we begin by sitting in silence, make an observation, repeat the observation, and sit in silence once again. There’s also a balance of power that comes into play, meaning one person can’t make all the observations while the other repeats. The partner I had seemed to struggle with making observations, which is how we ended up in a staring contest much like the GIF I used above. After we finished the exercise, our professor asked why we reached a stalemate? My partner responded by saying he had so much to say but not sure how to phrase it. Um, ok. I’m going to pass it off as him being young and unfamiliar with the brutal honesty that comes with this practice, and his politeness was kicking in.

Now I’m left wondering what was on his mind

The Big Move

(Source: DIYLOL.COM)

Just a couple of more weeks before I jet off to another land. I’m a roller coaster of emotions, but I will be alright. The big stuff is still yet to come:

•Wardrobe

•Packing

•Having all of the necessary documents

•Energy

A couple of things about this move are making me a little nervous. For starters, even though I have proof of acceptance to the school, medical insurance, money for cost of living, a valid passport, and accommodation, the immigration officer is well within their rights to block me from entering the country. I’m a U.S. Citizen, and unfortunately my country is not in good standing with the world right now. This is a valid reason to not permit me to study in Ireland.

The other concern is when I get there, will I be approved to work part-time? When meeting with the second round of immigration officers, I have to prove my finances by way of bank statements and additional income. I really NEED to work while I’m there. My family is not rich and we still have a slew of money issues.

I’m trying to hope for the best though.

As of right now, my notices were put in for work and next week is my final week at two of my three jobs. The last one I’m working all the way until it’s time for me to jet off. I have no idea how I’m going to pull it all off, but I’m going to make it happen.

Falling Behind a Bit

(Source: Facebook.)

Welp, it’s not Sunday. Not only did I fail to post ‘Work Update pt. 2’, but I also didn’t post a new episode of ‘Save the Drama for Your Shamma’. My apologies it’s been a long week.

Here are the updates:

•I lost one of my shifts at the restaurant, which sucks because I was starting to build up some more cash. It also came at a time where I did get a windfall of money from my Grandfather to complete my move to Dublin; however, having extra padding is super helpful. I’m going to put in my resignation notice soon anyway, so there’s no use in complaining about it now.

•Other particulars for school have been in place for a while now with the exception of student accommodation. Mainly because I’m not using student financial aid and paying on my own instead. This means I have to find my own accommodation and it’s been difficult. Dublin is one of the hardest cities to find housing. There are plenty of apartments I could live in…if I was wealthy. Unfortunately I don’t have that kind of money to live in one of those spaces so it looks like my first semester may be spent living in a hostel.

•I WILL have a new episode of ‘Save the Drama for Your Shamma’ tomorrow and again on Sunday. I just had to get my life together in the meantime.

That’s all for now. I hope to have better news next time.